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Burundi Breaths Sigh of Relief

The lifting of financial sanctions by the European Union has been welcomed with relief in Burundi. Since 2016, the EU had suspended its aid after a political crisis triggered by former president Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. For Jean Dieu Mutabazi, president of the National Observatory for the Prevention and Eradication of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, the sanctions lift is a great development. During an audience with the President of the Republic Évariste Ndayishimiye, the head of the EU delegation in Burundi announced that a process to lift the sanctions imposed on Burundi in 2016 is already underway. However, a group of NGOs had warned against a possible lifting of sanctions, arguing the human rights situation in the country is poor. The return of European aid would initially allow the rehabilitation of the port of Bujumbura, in partnership with the African Development Bank.